The 30 th of September a different fashion show took place in the Kingsbury hotel in Colombo Sri Lanka. A lot of models from all around the world came to walk or wheel in a catwalk.A lot of feelings and celebration!
- 9 countries represented: France, Sri Lanka, Belarus, India, Angola, South Africa, Finland, Ukraine and Greece.
Eight creators coming from all over the world:
- Murielle Kabile- France
- Galina Mihaleva – USA
- Gihan Ediriweera – SRI LANKA
- Anjana Misra – INDIA
- Kushan Jayasinghe – SRI LANKA
- Buddhika Darshani Kodikara – SRI LANKA
- Niharika Momtaz Dubai
- Surabhi Singh India
A lot of people were present for this event, the first lady of Sri Lanka, the ambassador of France of Sri Lanka, the ambassador of Sri Lanka in France, big artists, journalists …
The event was complete with the famous Ranga dance group, the wonderful Catwalk academy & Janaka Bandara. The professional Lahiru Crishan Kashyapa Events Pvt Ltd and the wonderful team of Makup & hair by Cheveux Salon Nelum Perera.The most handsome beauticians Chami Habarakada was here and Dushmantha Shanaka Kumara and Sanju wick.
How was born the project ?
Nawal Benzaouia is a fashion activist and disability access consultant. She have a little sister with down syndrome her name is Salwa.
Salwa was born in 1998 with an additional chromosome. Her trisomy 21 choose to pick a Leucemia along the way. But Salwa was against it .Her additional chomosome was more than enough. Thus, she wins her battle against Leucemia but the latter giffted her with a poisened chalice… And Salwa the lovely lost her hair. After this battle, her hair never grew back.
All the time everybody is always looking at her. Not because she is a beautiful young women but because she has NO HAIR. People are giving her side eye, looking at her with pity and even fear sometimes. But why is that ?
Well, disableness is scarcely represented !
That may justify why people react in such a manner whenever they see us. Human nature ; we do not know, we do not see, so we judge and look with insistance « Poor girl, she has down syndrome and she is bald »
The two sister have a little house in Morocco in Marrakech in the district MASSIRA. Things get worse in Morocco for little sister. She was completely refused by the society. Courageous elder sister determined say « one day I will show the world how sweet my little sister. Not only for my sister I will stand upon all differently able people around the world and make them important. I will show how beautiful they are. » She decided to empower disabled people through Fashion.
Rex Fernando the president of Asian European Fashion Show in Paris
Nawal convinced her idea to her best friend Rex Fernando. Rex Fernando is the president of Asian European fashion show & the national director for many modeling pageants in France. He is also a professional photographer in his own industry name as Rex Fernando Photography: studiofdo. He loved the project and decided to mixed fashion and disability. He decided to sponsor the event and build a team and work with his wife Sajani Fernando, Rizwan Fa and Nawal.
Rizwan Fa And Well Known as an Actor,Model and a Dancer too In a Proffesion, so far acted in several movies, Some tv commercials as well as ramped for some fashion shows and branding too.
By sharing they expirience and expertise in there world of fashion and world diversity. The Massira inclusive dream came true with the help of many French and Sri Lankan help. The project take 5 month to be build with a lot of difficulty to find sponsor. But with the big heart of many people Massira inclusive dream came true.
Massira purpose is to challenge social representations as well as misrepresentations and put faces of Down syndrome and every king of disability on the forefront.
Like Nawal said during the show « Never forget that the perception we have of disabled persons varies according to the place it has in our social structure. So let’s be at the fore front of an universal inclusion. ».
Text: Saif Rahman Sozib